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06-29-2012 03:57 PM
newmamalizzy

A positive experience from today:

 

We were having one of those awful days where I was about to lose it by 7:30 a.m.  By 3, I had run through all of my usual coping techniques, lost my temper and forced myself to calm down and regroup over and over again.  Things were not improving.  So...I used the "if you can't say anything nice don't say anything" rule.  I said maybe 10 words in 2 hours, and instead, I focused on non-verbal communication, and just observing my daughter.  We both calmed waaaay down, and by the end, it was almost like a game.  I actually felt like playing!  When she asked one of her millions of questions, I answered with action/inaction.  When she asked a yes or no question, I nodded my head, which required us to look at each other while we spoke.  When she made one of her bazillions of random statements, I'd smile or frown (or whatever).  Instead of asking her to do things and her saying no, I just help up her shorts with a questioning look, and she would hold out her foot for me to start putting them on her.  It really did change my perspective enough to break me out of my funk. Thought I'd share, in hopesit might be a trick that works for others, too.

06-26-2012 10:51 PM
crystalkr

Great thread!!

05-04-2012 06:44 AM
mirina

I am very grateful for this thread. I did not make to read all posts yet, but I want to recommend a book which helped me a lot (among others) to understand why kids act the way they act and how we can help them to overcome their distress and discouragement.

 

Alyson Schafer: Honey I wrecked the kids

 

http://www.amazon.ca/Honey-Wrecked-Kids-Screaming-Privileges/dp/0470156031

 

Good Luck

 

mirina

05-02-2012 07:55 AM
Louplus2

Thank you so much for this thread.

 

There has been so much useful - sage advice on here.

 

I am a yeller, which I hate and want / need to change. I don't want this to be my life, but it is. How can a 2 1/2 year old push me to my limit? It is absolutley ridiculous. But, he does.

This has been my internal monologue for what feels like forever. It is definitely too long, anyway

 

I know it is normal toddler stuff, nothing that I am not surprised by.

 

All my friends and family would describe me as patient and laid-back, nothing ever riles me. Man, if only they could be a fly on a wall in our house. I don't want the most important people in my life to see me like this. I am literally a different person and not in a good way. Don't they deserve the best of us?

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you, I will be trying all of these things. I know the way I am now will effect who my children become. I am so mindful of that, and it worries me trremendously.

 

Thank you for the little prayer. It brought tears to my eyes.

 

Peace, love and blessings to you all.

04-23-2012 09:36 PM
anyalily

subbing. this i so helpful.

04-22-2012 08:49 AM
P.J.

 

 


Great thread!

 

I was going to suggest these articles from Dr. Laura as well. I get her newsletters and I saved all in this series from last week. I also like the Naomi Aldort book and it reminds me I could reread it about now. And thank you for that little prayer, I printed it out and taped it on the inside of my son's wardrobe for easy reference and will try that too! I also had never really considered what my specific triggers are, and I'll pay attention to that in the coming weeks and see if that awareness can help avoid the situations that set me off. Also, we use Rescue Remedy quite a bit, but I'd never thought to use it when I want to yell. I'll definitely try it next time I'm feeling edgy!

 

I also wanted to say I recently learned a very simple breathing technique. It goes 4-7-8. You breathe in through your nose for a count of 4, then hold for a count of 7, then breathe out (either through nose or mouth) for a count of 8. The important thing is the long out breath. That helps your body regulate the sympathetic nervous system, which is almost always highly activated when we get the urge to yell. The trick with this breathing exercise is not just to do it when you're feeling triggered, but throughout the day to help prevent the trigger setting off your nervous system. I've been doing this for only four days now but I do see a difference in being generally more relaxed. It is so easy to do and I am not usually good at doing "practices", but this one can be done anytime anywhere so I am managing pretty well.

 

I also sometimes do snake breath (just going "sssssssssssssssssssssss") in the heat of the moment when I feel like yelling. It always puzzles my son when I do it (he's a toddler) and once he even started doing it too and I had to laugh...which totally broke up the anger! But it does help me not to yell in that moment.

04-20-2012 05:31 AM
Mittsy

Dr. Laura Markham had some really great blog posts about yelling last week and I've found them extremely helpful.

 

*http://www.ahaparenting.com/_blog/Parenting_Blog/post/6_Steps_to_Stop_Yelling/

 

*http://www.ahaparenting.com/_blog/Parenting_Blog/post/It_only_takes_3_minutes_to_stop_yelling_at_your_child/

 

*http://www.ahaparenting.com/_blog/Parenting_Blog/post/Your_Self-Support_Plan_to_Stop_Yelling/

 

 

04-20-2012 03:54 AM
Manka
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennpn View Post

I grew up in a home with a lot of yelling and van feel myself going there with my 2 year old at times. I have taken it out of my resource options. It is simply not an option. I believe it is disrespectful, humiliating and shaming to be yelled at and I wouldn't speak to anyone like that, the last of which would be the one I love most in the world. I remember my reasons why I don't. If I feel my voice raising I lower it as much as I want to raise it until at times I am whispering. It does the trick and usually has a calming effect on my son.
I also say this prayer in my head if I need a moment
"Lord, give me a gentle spirit and the heart of a child...help me to walk at "his" pace and see the world through "his" eyes. Thank you for the gift of motherhood." This always does the trick. I am humbled and can see my little boy just being a little boy through new eyes. Even if your are not religious just redirecting your energy with these words will help.

Good luck mama!

Thank you for this post - I love it ! I have struggled with this yelling for a while now & hate myself for allowing it to happen. Naturally the tears follow with the guilt of treating the most loved one in my life with such little respect. But your post put it into perspective for me, especially the prayer which is SO true. I am very grateful for motherhood and that is above all to everything, something which I should remember when the frustrating little things bring out the yelling. From now on it is simply not an option. Thank you again for making the penny finally drop.
03-29-2012 05:14 PM
luckiest

I have a high needs 16 month old, and probably a few times a week I feel the urge to yell at him bubble up.  He's totally in that stage where he is incredibly frustrated by his own limitations - will be hellbent on doing something that he physically isn't capable of doing, and also seems to zero in on the ONE thing that he shouldn't do.

 

I'm a really, really, really patient person.  If a friend were to describe me, the first adjective they'd come up with would be that I'm laid back.  I roll with the punches very easily.  Messes don't bother me, I don't lose my temper EVER.  But kids, man.  He can drive me right up to that edge where I HAVE to vent in some way or I'm going to take it out on him unfairly.

 

Rescue Remedy helps (for both of us, they make a kids version).  A trick  my mom said she used to do with us - really, really loudly sing, "I LOOOOVE MY CHIIIILD!"  in a crazy opera voice.  It helps me vent  and be loud without yelling and also usually snaps him out of the tantrum, at least for a second.  Similarly...ever seen Garden State?  You know when Natalie Portman's character does the "unique" thing?  I do that.  Spew total gibberish and dance around like a crazy person for a second.  Sometimes we go outside and throw something (beanbags usually).  Careful not to throw AT something, though.  

 

I also reassure myself that every time I'm able to cope with being angry in a healthy way, I'm teaching him how to do it as well.

03-21-2012 05:34 AM
vermontgirl

Hi there, I just wanted to give you a virtual hug. I have been through screaming bouts several times with my kids and I hate the way that I feel when it is happening and afterward. To me it feels hard to get out of but so wrong.

 

I have found apologising and hugging helps me get out of it. It gets me down to the children's level. The compassionate moments wake me up out of my funk a bit.

 

I also really like Rescue Remedy. I start taking double doses every ten minutes until it starts to work.

 

We don't watch much tv, but if I am having a particularly rough time I throw it on and take some quiet time to nap/read/drink tea/take a warm bath/revitalise my mood. It is better for them than my mood, so I find it to be the perfect time to plug it in.

 

Let yourself cry. Vent to a friend or sister. You are feeling stress and it is probably beyond what your kids are doing.

 

I understand this sort of thing so well.

 

Hugs.

03-17-2012 01:37 PM
K1329
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dukey25 View Post

I am a yeller and i am trying to change this. What is working for me right now is when I yell or feel like yelling I take the kids outside for a walk or something. For some reason that seems to break the cycle and gives me a breather. I find for me the yelling stems from frustration, my parents were spankers and when I find myself in a situation where I don't know what to do but spank I yell.

I find that when we're spiraling into a negative dynamic leaving the house to "reset" really works. Doesn't matter what we do - a walk, trip to the store for milk - just getting out of the house brightens everyone's mood.
I do tell my kids that I'm feeling frustrated - both of my kids learned that word pretty quickly - and that I need a short break. I'll stay in the same room, or, go into my room & read or rest. Now that they're older, I also suggest, when appropriate, that they might be feeling frustrated or grumpy & that they might benefit from a break.
03-16-2012 04:30 PM
blackbird2

i'm working on this too!  here are a couple quick meditations/thoughts from buddhism that i'm finding helpful in the moment:

 

breathing in, i am calm; breathing out i smile

great for those little irritations that can really get to me

 

breathing in, i am angry; breathing out, i know anger is in me

for those bigger moments.  even that tiny shift from "i am angry" to "there is anger in me" (ie, there is a self and there is the anger, two separate things) is way more effective than i thought

 

 

question:  how do you all make a time out for yourself not a punishment/withdrawl from your kids?  when i try to leave, my 3yr old usually runs after me and/or grabs on to me ... and i do not handle that very well, or even if i do ok, he's usually very upset at my leaving.

03-15-2012 10:57 AM
MomsterMash

Thank you for the incredibly helpful suggestions. 

 

I've realized finally that my biggest trigger is my nearly-subconscious worry about what other people might think. 

 

Example:  this morning, I blew my stack because my 3 year old was noodling around not getting dressed for preschool and we were going to be late for about the 15th time in a row. 

 

After it all blew over, I realized that right before I yelled, my thoughts flashed to my kid's annoying preschool teacher.  She's someone who just doesn't understand the life of a working parent, so she sneers when we show up late.  I felt a tiny wave of shame thinking about how we'd be judged by this preschool teacher, and I just snapped.

 

So I'm working hard on that - not letting other people's expectations rule me (or my imagining of their expectations). 

 

I've also started marking the calendar every month. Around 10 days after my period, I start getting WAY less patient (with the pinnacle of grumpiness around 17-20 past my period), so I'm trying to do more yoga and take better care of myself for the last half of the month.

08-07-2009 09:48 AM
jewelsJZ I'm gonna try to get that book, too. Sounds good.
Been having a much better few days but started out today not so good so thought i'd post about it here as a way to try to get myself back on track today. The 5 yr. old had a screaming, kicking all out fit because he spilled some dry cereal on the floor. No big deal, me and the 3 yr. old both start helping him clean it up, he starts to clean up, then knocks the cup over and some of the cereal spills again and he screams, LOUD, right in my ear and I lost it. Noise is, apparently, one of my big triggers. I yelled at him, told him to stop acting like a baby and leave the room. Then both kids start fighting over a piece of paper, one of those little card ads that pulls out of magazines. This is all while I am trying to get ready and they are being so loud and I don't want them to wake the baby up.
Okay, gonna try to get back on track here today and not yell. Ok, crap, the 3 year old just came over and scratched me. But I didn't yell. I think she was trying to tickle in her not-so-gentle way.
08-06-2009 06:07 PM
Drummer's Wife Thanks for the rec for Scream Free Parenting. After reading the reviews on Amazon, I downloaded the Kindle version and hope to start it tonight.
08-06-2009 05:53 PM
busymama77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancta View Post
I'm in the middle of Scream Free Parenting by Hal something or other and I'm loving it.

He pretty much says that screaming = immaturity. A child should not have the power to push an adult to that point, and it only brings about negative reactions and behavior. We cannot change our children, only ourselves.
I'm gonna check that book out. Thanks for sharing, Sancta!
08-06-2009 04:02 AM
ema-adama
Quote:
Originally Posted by jewelsJZ View Post
The Naomi Aldort book worked for me today! I got it at the library last night and started reading it this morning. My kids were still sleeping and I had the rare treat of sitting w/ coffee and being able to read the first part of the book. Used it the instant my oldest woke up. He started his grumpy morning screeching thing that he does every day and instead of telling him to be quiet so as not to wake his sibs and him continuing to screech and then me threatening to send him back to his room, I just did the validating thing from the book and he stopped right away.
We had a MUCH MUCH MUCH better day today, and only because I behaved differently.
Mama, that is so awesome. :::
08-05-2009 11:36 PM
allgirls 1. Find out what your triggers are and work on them

2. Practice mindful meditation and practice other techneques for calmness

3. Slow down a lot...walk slower...talk slower...mindful meditation helps with that.

4. Keep careful track of your cycles so that you know your pms time...even if you don't suffer seriously you may be prone to being less patient then(this is the only time I yell..yes, it became that obvious to me)

5. If your trigger is messes...don't have crafts/waterpaints/messy things in the house...take them to other places for that. We do those things outside and we have a regular playgroup for that stuff, we have crayons and markers but if we do that sort of things it's planned and organized. Work with who you are and what your limitations are. (I have a no play dough rule because it always gets stuck in the carpet and I lose it and I figure it's just toxic junk anyway..and I hate the stuff)

6. If your trigger is noise(mine isn't noise so much as sudden noise that startles me) teach your kids inside and outside noise. Also designate an escape area for you to go to when you feel that urge. I go up to the living room and sit. I'm fortunate in that we have the basement as a family area and a quieter upstairs living room.

7. Take regular and scheduled breaks for yourself. Half an hour walk every night. I joined a rowing club and I go once a week, no kids, just me. It's amazing and the thought of that break often gets me through when I'm about to lose it.

8. Sing. I start yelling and then change it to a fake yell and then into a silly song and it cracks the kids up and changes the entire dynamic of the room. It's crazy but somehow it works. Probably like the whispering that someone mentioned above.

Eta...I rarely yell. Because I rarely yell my kids yell less. It has taken work but it was well worth it. I really have a ton more patience. I used to talk about real and fake patience...the fake it til you make it works..because I find that I rarely have to fake patience, I just now am more patient and rarely lose it and yell anymore. In fact I was really angry at my 15 year old for something she did and I was talking about how much I yelled and screamed at her but looking back on her..it really wasnt' yelling or screaming. It was lecturing sternly but it wasn't yelling. And what she did was off the charts crazy dangerous(which is also a trigger for me).
08-05-2009 11:03 PM
jewelsJZ The Naomi Aldort book worked for me today! I got it at the library last night and started reading it this morning. My kids were still sleeping and I had the rare treat of sitting w/ coffee and being able to read the first part of the book. Used it the instant my oldest woke up. He started his grumpy morning screeching thing that he does every day and instead of telling him to be quiet so as not to wake his sibs and him continuing to screech and then me threatening to send him back to his room, I just did the validating thing from the book and he stopped right away.
We had a MUCH MUCH MUCH better day today, and only because I behaved differently.
Evan and Anna's Mom, yes, NOISE, that is a huge trigger for me. My oldest makes constant noises, very loud, loves to do this to get a reaction out of the baby. The baby loves it which only reinforces it. It drives me bonkers and the later in the day that it gets, the less tolerance I have for it.
Dukey, me too. My mom was a spanker and I don't want to hit my kids so I yell instead, but this is not really any better.
08-05-2009 09:35 PM
Anastasiya I'm in the middle of Scream Free Parenting by Hal something or other and I'm loving it.

He pretty much says that screaming = immaturity. A child should not have the power to push an adult to that point, and it only brings about negative reactions and behavior. We cannot change our children, only ourselves.
08-05-2009 08:00 PM
swd12422 I'm no help, b/c I was just about to start trying the vodka shots (jk!!) but I wanted to say THANK YOU for starting this thread, and to everyone who has replied with helpful suggestions so far. I'm in the same boat as the OP, and REALLY need to find a way to recognize when my frustration levels are getting too high. Poor DS is so scared when I yell, and at the same time is compelled to repeat the very same actions that prompted the yelling to begin with. Vicious cycle... (And yes, the car seat is one of the hot buttons now! So glad someone mentioned it.)

I'm off to get the book mentioned, too.... Please keep the suggestions coming!
08-05-2009 07:13 PM
Evan&Anna's_Mom My trigger is almost always noise. Is there a specific trigger for you? Once I figured that out I could tailor my pro-active strategies much better. Luckily, my kids are old enough that they don't need constant supervision, so when things start getting noisy I can say "Please play outside" or "I am going to go work on the computer" and get things calmed down really quickly. When they were little I almost always decided that was when it was time to go to the park.
08-05-2009 06:33 PM
mom2allofthem I take a time out when I feel like I'm losing my patience. It works wonders!
08-05-2009 06:29 PM
labdogs42
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
I've found for me the times I've gotten really angry it's helped to say loudly (or even yell): I'm so angry right now! I'm going to go on the porch and calm down!

It makes a huge impression on my son and although occasionally it has been yelling, it hasn't been yelling at him.

Yep. This. I find that admitting to my emotions is difficult, yet so empowering. We need to model to our children what is and is not appropriate. It isn't appropriate to take out your frustrations on people who are younger and smaller than you are by yelling at them. It is appropriate to remove yourself from the situation until you can calm down.
08-05-2009 05:46 PM
Beppie often when I lose my patience with my kids it's because I need some quiet time to myself. Sometimes I tell my girls, "Mommy needs a little quiet time." and then think up something else they can be doing while I just sit and take a breather. They are very understanding! Sometimes they'll play quietly, sometimes they'll amuse themselves together (jumping on the bed in the next room, for example!), but even if it makes noise, I'm at least able to sit a minute, close my eyes, and re-focus my energy. And put a smile on my face, even if I'm not feeling it!
08-05-2009 04:28 PM
Dukey25 I am a yeller and i am trying to change this. What is working for me right now is when I yell or feel like yelling I take the kids outside for a walk or something. For some reason that seems to break the cycle and gives me a breather. I find for me the yelling stems from frustration, my parents were spankers and when I find myself in a situation where I don't know what to do but spank I yell.
08-05-2009 10:48 AM
GuildJenn I've found for me the times I've gotten really angry it's helped to say loudly (or even yell): I'm so angry right now! I'm going to go on the porch and calm down!

It makes a huge impression on my son and although occasionally it has been yelling, it hasn't been yelling at him.
08-04-2009 10:24 PM
jennpn I am so glad I could be of help to you! I was caring for three one year old when my newborn son who also had colic and extensive allergies came along. He was up every hour until he was 9 months old during the night and I was beyond exhausted. Only other moms know how meaningless that word really is...it was so much more then that. My nerves were raw and I didn't know if I was coming or going. All I knew is that I had 4 tiny people that needed me very much to be nuturing, calm, loving and patient towards them. This was asking a tremendous amount considering I could barely manage in those days to put my pants on the right way. That is when I re evaliated my goals as a parent and caregiver and my reasoning behind the convictions I had around them. Taking things like physical punishment, shaming, humiliation and yelling completly out of the resource vault helped so much. Even when I felt like screaming along with them I did not becuase that was not an option. I could not go there. I had to find something else. A tantrumming frustrated toddler can be, as I found, more easily calmed with a gentle touch, a warm embrace and a soft word then screaming over top of them...ironic still is that you have lost control by doing this and are trying to get your toddler to succeed at pulling in self control themselves that you as the adult could not.

I read that little prayer on someone's blog who got it from someone else. I am happy to pass it on. Those words empower me, calm me and humble me. I AM so grateful for the gift of motherhood and for these snotty, loud, messy days of childhood that will be gone so quickly. I don't want to have to try to remember them over the yelling.

Good luck with your struggle Momma! You can get back to that place you are looking for!
08-04-2009 06:07 PM
jewelsJZ Thanks mommas. Going to go to the library and pick up the Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves book tonight! And thanks for the little prayer, jennpn, i am not a religious person, but this is something i will use.
keep the suggestions coming, moms, this is so, so helpful.
08-04-2009 03:39 PM
busymama77
Quote:
Originally Posted by jewelsJZ View Post
I am not proud of this, but I am screaming at my kids and I'm not even sure why. It seems like this happens every now and then, I get in this place where I have zero patience and I snap at them, forgetting that they are kids and they are doing what kids do.
I need some more coping techniques to get me through the day. What do you do or what do you say to yourself in the moment, when they are driving you crazy, to get through it without, you know, causing them to need therapy later in life?
How do you increase your patience level? I mean, I exercise, I have time away from them, I have a great husband who helps a lot when he is not at work, but short of doing vodka shots, how do you get through the day?
I find myself doing the same thing and it's only out of pure frustration - frustration built up after repeatedly asking my son to STOP doing something and him not listening. Are deep breaths and time outs for yourself a good way to handle such situations? It's an ongoing battle. During bathtime, out in public, you name it - it's like he's testing my patience. I've even caught myself talking to myself during a bathtime one night when I thought I was going to lose it. He saw me doing this, got sad and asked what was wrong. He doesn't need to be doing this!! I felt awful, calmed down and explained that mommy was just a little upset when you didn't listen to me....
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